Posts tagged ‘Holland America’

Caribbean Cruise – Rescue in the night

Crew members of the Excalibur coming onboard Zuiderdam after being rescued.

Crew members of the Excalibur coming onboard Zuiderdam after being rescued.

I couldn’t end my posts about our wonderful Caribbean cruise to the Panama Canal without mentioning that during the middle of one night while we were sleeping, our ship rescued a 90 foot craft that was sinking along with its 8 man crew!

By the time our ships officers heard the distress call from the Excalibur, it had already lost power and was sinking.  A crew member was desperately calling on a hand held radio.  The ship was pitch black and was not visible in the dark of night.  They were out of flares and running out of time.

The eight crew members of Excalibur were taken onboard after their boat started to sink.

The eight crew members of Excalibur were taken onboard after their boat started to sink.

Below is the article written about the rescue on the HAL website.

HAL’s Zuiderdam Rescue Crew of Sinking Boat

Submitted by: HAB Editorial Team

On a recent cruise, the Zuiderdam was called upon to assist a vessel in need of assistance.

At 2:10 a.m. Jan. 3, 2015, while en route to Oranjestad, Aruba, Zuiderdam answered a distress call from the Bahamian inter-island vessel Excalibur that was sinking with eight crewmembers onboard. Zuiderdam was approximately 15 miles away and the closest ship in the area.

 “Congratulations to the officers and crew onboard Zuiderdam for their quick response that saved the lives of eight people,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “We are proud to be able to come to the rescue when called upon, and it’s even more gratifying when everything goes as smoothly as this operation did.”

Zuiderdam altered course and was able to successfully execute a nighttime rescue of all eight crewmembers at 3:01 a.m. The ship brought them onboard and provided food and accommodations. The rescued crewmembers debarked in Aruba Jan. 5.

I’ve been on many cruises, but never one that actually saved lives!  Just one additional event that made this trip awesome!

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February 13, 2015 at 8:41 am Leave a comment

Caribbean Cruise – Fun on the ship!

While cruising in the Caribbean on the Holland America’s Zuiderdam, we managed to have tons of fun on the ship between ports.  Mostly because of the really fun group of people we were traveling with.  There were ten of us joining my friend Karen to help her celebrate her 70th birthday.

If we weren’t sitting by the pool, we were playing card games in the game rooms, going to the casino, stopping by a seminar, or having our own little party.  We never got bored.

Karen’s friend Gail made a fun countdown plan for the 5 days before her birthday, so we had a five day celebration.  She supplied fun party favors for each day.  Every evening during dinner in the dining room, we announced her upcoming birthday and had fun with the party favors.  Soon the tables around us were joining in the fun.

Here are pictures of our evenings in the dining room.  Our two tables had so much fun!  It was contagious and many people told us how much they enjoyed our fun.

Announcing 5 days to Karen's birthday!

Announcing 5 days to Karen’s birthday!

Everyone wearing their flashing rings

Everyone wearing their flashing rings, the party favor of the day.

Tina was so much fun!

Tina was so much fun!

Karen is surprised!

Karen is surprised!

4 days til the big birthday!

4 days until the big birthday!

Karen with the party horns :-)

Karen with the party horns 🙂

It's getting closer!  Only three more days!

It’s getting closer! Only three more days!

There's the party girl!

There’s the party girl!

Donna, Terri, Eunice, Barbara and Gail

Barbara, Terri, Eunice, Donna and Gail

Gail announcing just ONE more day!

Gail announcing just two more days!

Tina blowing bubbles

Tina blowing bubbles

Look at those bubbles!

Look at those bubbles!

Susie, Charles & Tina having fun with bubbles

Susie, Charles & Tina having fun with bubbles

SO much fun!

SO much fun!

It's a party every night at dinner!

It’s a party every night at dinner!

One more day!  It's balloon day!

One more day! It’s balloon day!

Fun birthday week!  We loved our waiters!

Fun birthday week! We loved our waiters!

Tina gets to keep the balloons.  And off she goes!

Tina gets to keep the balloons. And off she goes!

It's finally Karen's big day.  Happy Birthday Karen!

It’s finally Karen’s big day. Happy Birthday Karen!

The wait staff singing Happy Birthday

The wait staff singing Happy Birthday

Me and Susie at dinner

Me and Susie on birthday night

Cheers!  Here's to a great cruise, and great friendship!

Cheers! Here’s to a great cruise, and a great friendship!

One night we went to the Pinnacle Grill restaurant for dinner.  A VERY fancy affair!

Dinner at the Pinnacle Grill

Dinner at the Pinnacle Grill

This was the first cruise that I had a verandah.  It was wonderful!  We opened the walls between four of our rooms so we could all enjoy our verandah’s together.  We spent our days enjoying the views, and in the evenings we sat and watched out over the beautiful water in the warm night air.

Karen enjoying the verandah

Karen enjoying the verandah during our party

Everyone watching us come into port

Everyone watching us come into port

Donna and Susie enjoying the sun

Donna and Susie enjoying the sun

All lined up on Tina and Charles' verandah

All lined up on Tina and Charles’ verandah

Karen and Jon checking out the Panama Canal

Karen and Jon checking out the Panama Canal

The evening activities were lots of fun, too!  There was a great show each night, and my favorite place to go was the BB King’s Blues Club.  Not only did I absolutely LOVE the music, but the fact that one of the band members reminded me of an old flame didn’t hurt a bit either!

We also hit the Northern Lights Nightclub and danced the night away!

Northern Lights Nightclub

Northern Lights Nightclub

Karen and I shaking a leg.

Karen and I shaking a leg.

Susie dancing with Charles

Susie dancing with Charles

Karen and Charles dancing

Karen and Charles dancing

One afternoon we had a little party in Susie and my room.  We had been given a complimentary bottle of wine in each of our rooms so we thought this was the perfect way to have a glass.  Susie and I gathered snacks to serve and everybody brought their wine.  It was cozy, but fun.

Having a glass of wind in our room

Having a glass of wine in our room

A nice gathering with new friends

A nice gathering with new friends

Me and Charles listening to funny stories

Me and Charles listening to funny stories

On Karen’s birthday we had a before-dinner party in Tina and Charles’ room.  I had bought a couple bottles of Original Curacao liqueur while we were in Curacao.  We served it along with chocolate covered strawberries that Karen’s sons had sent to her for her birthday.

Party in Tina's room

Party in Tina’s room

Curacao liqueur and chocolate covered strawberries...yummy!

Curacao liqueur and chocolate covered strawberries…yummy!

The girls visiting at our party

The girls visiting during the party

Susie and Karen.  We made Karen wear a wig for the party.  I think she liked it!

Susie and Karen. We made Karen wear a wig for the party. I think she liked it!  Isn’t she cute?

Another fun part of the ship was the Crow’s Nest.  We met in the afternoons to have a cocktail, but we also went to Karaoke night!  Oh my!

Afternoon drinks in the Crow's Nest

Afternoon drinks in the Crow’s Nest

Tina was the first to get up and sing.  And she actually is a really good singer!

Jon, Gail, Charles & Tina watching Kareoke

Eunice, Karen, Jon, Donna, Gail, Charles & Tina watching Karaoke

Tina singing her song

Tina singing her song

Susie and I getting ready to have some fun!

Susie and I getting ready to have some fun!

Oh yeah!  Karen, Susie and I singing "Girls just wanna have fun"

Oh yeah! Karen, Susie and I singing “Girls just wanna have fun”

Were we good?  Uhhh, not even close.  But we DID have fun!

Were we good? Uhhh, not even close. But we DID have fun!

I'm thinking Charles and Tina are laughing at us ;-)

I’m thinking Charles and Tina are laughing at us 😉

I couldn’t end the on-board fun without mentioning Susie getting all dressed up to watch the Seahawk game.  She brought it all the way from Washington state!  Now that’s a true fan!

Susie cheering for the Seahawks!

Susie cheering for the Seahawks!

What an absolutely amazing cruise!

My next post will be about our “Rescue in the night”.  Something awesome that happened on our cruise.

 

 

February 11, 2015 at 2:42 am 1 comment

Caribbean Cruise – The Bahamas

DSC02007Our first stop on our cruise was at Half Moon Cay (pronounced Key), Holland America Line’s own private island.

Fountain at Half Moon Cay

Fountain at Half Moon Cay

Good music always playing

Good music always playing

The cruise ship had set up a nice BBQ on the island so instead of taking an excursion, we opted to just have lunch, grab a souvenir, and enjoy the beach.

BBQ on Half Moon Cay

BBQ on Half Moon Cay

As we walked along the trail to the BBQ we passed several misting stations along the way.  I thought that was a pretty cool idea since it was so hot.

Misting station along trail

Misting station along trail

After lunch we grabbed a couple of lounges and enjoyed the powdery white sandy beach and the crystal clear water.

Susie enjoying the beach

Susie enjoying the beach

Beautiful powdery white beach and vibrant aqua water

Beautiful powdery white sand and vibrant aqua water

We decided we needed to have a Bahama Mama so we moseyed over to the ‘I Wish I Could Stay Here Forever’ bar.

I Wish I Could Stay Here Forever bar

I Wish I Could Stay Here Forever bar

A couple of happy mama's drinking their Bahama Mama's on a beach in the Bahamas!

A couple of happy mama’s drinking their Bahama Mama’s on a beach in the Bahamas!

It was a beautiful and relaxing start to our wonderful trip!  Next stop – Aruba!!!

January 25, 2015 at 8:52 pm Leave a comment